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March 26, 2014 | By Patrick Kevin Day
NBC announced its summer programming lineup on Wednesday, which includes six new scripted series, a new unscripted series, as well as new seasons of "Last Comic Standing," "America's Got Talent" and "American Ninja Warrior. " In its announcement, the network says this is the most original summer programming for any network in 20 years. First out of the gate will be eighth season of "Last Comic Standing" on May 22, which features 20 stand-up comedians vying for a single NBC talent deal.
March 26, 2014 | By Mark Swed, Los Angeles Times Music Critic
There was no contesting yet another Russian annexation Monday night. Rather than the supposed 93% majority in Crimea that voted to succeed from Ukraine a week earlier, what appeared to be 100% of the audience at Walt Disney Concert Hall vociferously cheered in favor of Evgeny Kissin Russianizing Schubert. The occasion was a fabulous, if highly personal, performance by the Russian pianist of Schubert's big, outgoing Sonata in D Major, D. 850. That was followed by the most commanding Scriabin playing I've ever heard accorded the Russian mystic composer in concert.
March 25, 2014 | By Robert J. Lopez and Ben Welsh
John Mireles spent six years preparing to become a firefighter. The Signal Hill resident took fire science classes and worked nights on an ambulance crew, in addition to his full-time day job. He said he passed the Los Angeles Fire Department written exam, made it through an interview and background check and reached the final stages of the hiring process. But last week he was among hundreds of candidates who received a terse, two-sentence email from city personnel officials: They would no longer be hiring from a pool of applicants who had advanced through a yearlong screening process.
March 24, 2014 | By Lalita Clozel
WASHINGTON - Working as a Jack in the Box cashier, Marissa Cruz Santos breathed a sigh of relief last year when she qualified for an Obama administration program that defers deportation of young immigrants who came to the U.S. illegally as children. With high expectations and a freshly minted work permit, Santos, 27, hit the job market, hoping to leverage her new status and a Cal State Fullerton degree into an entry-level office position. But after applying for several jobs near her Riverside home, Santos got only two interviews and no offers.
March 24, 2014 | By Robert J. Lopez and Ben Welsh
The president of the union representing Los Angeles firefighters on Monday told the mayor that suspending a controversial hiring program is "patently unfair" to candidates on track to be included in future classes. Capt. Frank Lima voiced his concerns in a letter to Mayor Eric Garcetti , who announced last week that he was halting the program amid concerns about mismanagement and nepotism.  A class of trainees is underway at the LAFD drill tower in Panorama City, but a class of about 70 additional recruits that was scheduled for the summer has been scrapped . Those recruits were part of pool of several hundred who have passed a written exam, a physical fitness test and oral examinations.    "You are penalizing qualified individuals who had no role in this broken system," Lima told the mayor.
March 23, 2014
ANTARCTICA Slide show Distant Lands staffer Julia Hagie will share stories and photos of her trip to South Georgia Island, the South Shetlands and the Antarctic Peninsula. When, where: 7:30 p.m. Monday at Distant Lands, 20 S. Raymond Ave., Pasadena. Admission, info: Free. RSVP to (626) 449-3220. ICELAND Presentation Shane Berry and Rick Flores will discuss their journey, "Iceland Odyssey: Exploring, Hiking and Photography in a Starkly Beautiful Land.
March 20, 2014 | Bill Plaschke
SAN DIEGO - He's been on the job nearly a full calendar year, leading a young basketball team to a conference tournament championship while filling a dormant program with energy and hope. Yet Steve Alford's career as UCLA basketball coach doesn't officially begin until right now. Friday night, Viejas Arena, NCAA tournament, opening game, Tulsa waiting. Despair waiting, relief waiting, ghosts waiting. "This is when the UCLA coaching hot seat gets really hot," said Tracy Murray, former Bruins star and current team radio analyst.
March 20, 2014 | Robert J. Lopez, Ben Welsh
Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti suspended the city's firefighter recruitment program Thursday amid concerns about mismanagement and nepotism, including new emails that show special recruitment workshops were organized for relatives of department insiders. "I have determined that the Fire Department's recruiting process is fatally flawed," the mayor said in a statement Thursday. The action follows a Times report last month that thousands of candidates who passed a written test were excluded from consideration for a new training class because some of their paperwork wasn't received in the first 60 seconds of a filing period last spring.
March 19, 2014 | By Teresa Watanabe
Tucked in the corner of a grimy East Hollywood strip mall is a shining hope of public education. Or so U.S. Education Secretary Arne Duncan said Wednesday in an event that showcased a comprehensive program to boost academic achievement by supporting students and their families with job training, health services, after-school tutoring and other help. The program is a collaboration of Los Angeles public and private partners led by the Youth Policy Institute, which received a $30-million federal grant in 2012 to launch the initiative in the high-poverty neighborhoods of East Hollywood and Pacoima.
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